Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Jordan's 28th Birthday

Hey there, just a short post today as we've
been celebrating Jordan's 28th birthday. Thanks to the awful snowy weather dubbed "The Beast From The East" Jordan got to come home early from work. He kept working from home but at least he was in a more comfortable environment.

Vala and I baked him a cake which she loved doing and it tasted delicious. I cooked him a lovely spaghetti and meatball dinner and we enjoyed it together as family. Flynn has been very clingy to me all day and we only just managed to get him to go to sleep in his cot. Now Jordan and I are enjoying some cuddles and tv. Not been anything special but he is happy. Happy Jordan makes me happy.

Until next time,
Alli xo
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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

In Loving Memory

Today I heard the heartbreaking news that an amazing man and wonderful friend; Brian, tragically passed away over the weekend. He was a moderator, broadcast engineer, mentor, and an amazing friend. He touched the lives of everyone who met him and made the Twitch Moderation team what it is today. I met Brian aka Izl through Jordan and admittedly, I wasn't as close to him as Jordan was and I didn't get to know him as well as I would've liked. Something I'll always regret now. But from the times we did speak, he always made me feel like a true friend. He spoke to everyone as if he'd been friends with them half his life. To me it did feel like I'd know him half my life and in reality, I'd only known him for 2 years. He did so much for other people and was always to help in anyway he could. To quote Jordan;

I can't even put into words the effect Brian has had on us. He was a true champion who made the lives of many that he graced a better one.

I've been crying off and on since I heard the news and like Jordan, I still don't know how to process it. Even when things got tough, he remained optimistic and faced every challenge head on. He never gave up on anything. The knowledge that he is gone is truly heart breaking. I still don't want to believe it. I didn't know how to deal with this grief so I'm channeling it all into writing.

Brian....Izl fo shizzle, I'm sorry I didn't get to know you better. I'm sorry we didn't talk that much. But I loved the chats we did have, however brief they may have been. I'm grateful of how welcome you made me feel and appreciate all the nice things you said to me when Jordan and I first started dating. You told me that you were really happy to see how happy Jordan was since we'd started dating and I promised you that I would do everything I could to keep him happy for the rest of my life. And I'm going to keep that promise to you buddy. You will never be far from our hearts and we will always miss you and treasure the time we had with you. I only wish we could've met so I could give you a massive bear hug. Maybe in another life I'll get that chance but for now, my friend, rest peacefully. Know that you were loved, looked up to and cared about by many.

Rest in peace Brian. Team No Pants forever!

Alli xo

Monday, 26 February 2018

Cooking Something New: Mac n Cheese

Mac n cheese is a staple meal in many
family homes and student dorms. Something that everyone has eaten at least once. I love Mac n Cheese but have never ever made it from scratch. Tonight I decided to give it a go.

Recipe:


Macaroni pasta
55g Butter
30g Flour
475ml Milk
225g grated cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method:

Cook macaroni pasta according to packaging. Drain and leave to one side.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat. Once butter has fully melted, slowly add the flour, salt and pepper and mix continuously until you have a smooth paste. Slowly add milk and stir continuously until smooth and bubbling. Approximately 5 minutes. Add the cheese in parts and mix until completely smooth. Fold in the macaroni until fully covered. Serve and enjoy!

My experience:


Believe it or not but this SIMPLE recipe took me THREE attempts to make. Why? Because the flour and butter doesn't actually make a smooth paste as the instructions implied. Instead it all just clumped together. After the third attempt I gave up and just added the milk and it smoothed out perfectly. Adding the cheese thickened it up and my sauce turned out perfectly!



Overall the dinner looks like a sloppy creamy white mess but it taste pretty damn good. Proud of myself for nailing a family favourite on my first attempt!

Until next time,
Alli xo
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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Light Night 2018

Thank god its Friday! Or was at least! This short post is coming to you late because tonight the family and I went out into town to enjoy Light Night! It's one night a year when various places around the city use light to make art. Personally I didn't think this year was nearly as good as last year but it was still nice to get out as a family. Here's a photo from tonight. (Flynn's not in it as he was fast asleep in his pram.)


Short and sweet post due to lateness.
Until next time,
Alli xoxo
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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Flynn Monthly Update: 2 Months

Yesterday marked two months since Flynn was born. The time has flown by but it has been a wonderful albeit taxing time with him. This past month has been challenging I won't deny but it has also been quite wonderful as well.

How Flynn is doing:

At 2 months old Flynn now weighs 12lbs 14oz (5.85kg) and measures 58.5cm long (1ft 11"). He is following his growth lines perfectly. 75th percentile line for his weight and 50th percentile line for height. It seems he puts on 2lbs every month which is good and healthy to see. This month saw him meet many members of his extended family at his great-nonna's 75th birthday party. He was handed around the room like a puppy at a primary school. He didn't seem to have an issue being smothered in attention and affection though. 

Flynn definitely still loves to eat and to smile whilst doing but now we've added talking into the mix. He will talk with a mouthful of boob and look at me and smile. He'll also bite down and pull on my nipple when he is trying to fill his nappy. All I can say is, I'm not looking forward to him doing it when his teeth start coming through. He is a very clear mumma's boy and is very clingy. If he's awake he wants attention and affection all the time and will crack it if he doesn't get it....or if he gets it but not in the way he wants it. We love listening to him cooing away and smiling at us whilst trying to grab his toes. His first developmental leap was taxing for us but we got through it and it's amazing to see how much he has changed in a single month. Can't wait to see what he'll be doing next month!

How mum is doing:

Sadly I still appear to be riding the postnatal depression train. Most days I can cope with it and get through the day with little issue but if I don't sleep well, everything becomes too much to cope with. Thankfully since last month the insomnia has gone and I have my appetite back. Insomnia being gone means I do get more sleep but there are still some difficult nights. I have been insanely stressed out though. A lot going on this month has left me that way. Stressed about finances, the house, the future etc. Trying to push through but the stress coupled with the PND makes me one bad incident away from a total nervous break down. I'm a lot more tense and snappy and as a result, I keep trying to shut myself away from everyone and everything. I'm surviving though, but just barely.

Physically I'm doing pretty well. All pain and discomfort has gone from my lower abdomen and sometimes I even forget that I recently had a c-section. Heart rate is not an issue at all but there is still some residual SPD. I was told it can take 8-12 weeks after birth for the pain to fully go away so hopefully I won't notice it at all soon. It's mostly just getting in and out of bed, or rolling over in bed that sets the pain off so at least it's not disrupting day to day life.

This month has flown by but thankfully not as fast as the first. Things don't seem a complete blur. Wanting to really knuckle down on my writing and fitness now that most postnatal obstacles are out my way but still got a few little mental demons to deal with first. Our family has definitely adjusted to being a family of 4 now and the love we share has grown immensely. It's been hard but well worth it. 



Until next time, 
Alli xoxo

Monday, 19 February 2018

My Fantasy Novel

Last night Jordan and I were scrolling through Right Move looking at houses up for sale and it quickly dawned on us that any that would be perfect for our family, are too far out of our price range. We would have to save £20k just to be able to put a deposit down on one. This bought our moods down because with only Jordan working and me being a stay at home mum with two children, the likelihood of us saving that kind of money is incredibly slim. With our current household income, it would take us years of living by necessity to save up. Maybe we could do that if we didn't have the kids but we want our children to have experiences, to go places, try new things etc. We don't want them living off staple meals and never going anywhere fun for the next few years just so we can buy the perfect family home. Rather than deprive our children of a fun, exciting childhood we agreed we need to find some way of making more money. We discussed me getting me a job but then realised that after child care costs, I'd have to be working 40 hours a week to make it worth while and even then we'd barely be any better off. I don't want that any way. I want to be the one who raises my children, not some child care worker. It's not worth it to be approximately £50 better off each month. So what can I do from home?

This is where my fantasy novel comes in. I started it last year and so far have only got as far as
chapter three. I might be talking too ambitious here but I'm hoping that if I can finish it, I can get in published and make some money from it. I'm not expecting to be the next Rowling or Tolkien or even the next Meyer; I'm hoping I can make a little something to put towards our future home. Trouble is, I lack the confidence to keep pushing myself. I second guess every sentence I write and a lot of the time, I hit the "too hard" button and walk away. The more I write, the worse I feel the story becomes and this is why I haven't finished the third chapter yet. I need the confidence and motivation to finish my book and the balls and determination to get it published and promote it. My goal is to finish it, get it published and try desperately to make £1,000 from it to put towards our home. Some of you might think I'm too ambitious with my £1k goal; others of you might think I'm setting the bar too low. Either way, it's my goal and now I just have to push myself harder and harder. I need to spend my free time researching and writing instead of watching tv or playing computer games. I need to work my arse off to make this a success. I need to dedicate as much time as I possibly can to this and just hope that something comes of it.

You can be sure that if I complete step one (finishing it) and step two (publishing it), that I'll be promoting the hell out of it here on my blog as well as my Twitter. I could do with your support though. Give me creative writing tips, give me your opinions, if you're into the fantasy genre, start a conversation with me and tell me what you like or don't like about the genre. Even just the odd comment here and there telling me I can do this, would be the motivation I need to not give up. Any support you guys could give will always be appreciated immensely.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Friday, 16 February 2018

My new friend called Envy

As my postnatal depression has been harder to cope with these last couple of weeks, I've noticed a little deadly sin has been sitting on my shoulder. It goes by the name of ENVY


Envy is an emotion which "occurs when a person lacks another's superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it" 
My friend envy comes in the form of my desire to be like my downstairs neighbour. I find myself becoming more and more jealous of her. She is a very beautiful mother of 1 and from my perspective, she has her life together. Every day I hear her downstairs, cleaning her flat. She hoovers once a day, I can hear the washing machine and dryer on. I hear cupboard doors shutting and her stylish boots trotting across the laminate floor. She pops out to run her errands and gets all her housework done in the time her 6 year old daughter is at school. Why might I be envious of a woman who can get her housework done to might ask? Well one, because with 2 kids, I can't. And two, because she spends her day doing housework and comes out looking stunningly beautiful! Her clothes are always clean, ironed and look like new. Her hair is perfect; no frizz, kinks or fly aways and her make up is immaculate! I have heard her hoovering her flat as I've left to do the school pick up and passed her ten minutes later on the way back and it looks like she's just spent the last hour styling her hair and doing her make-up.

Ok, you're probably thinking so what if she looks great after cleaning, why do you care? I care because I am like the completely opposite of her. I struggle and I mean STRUGGLE to get even 10% of my housework done on a daily basis. And if I manage to get any done, I come out sweating, smelling and looking like I haven't cared about my physical appearance at all! I NEVER have time to iron clothes so I go out looking like a scrub. Sometimes I even wear the same creased top multiple days in a row. My hair is like a giant frizz ball full of split ends and fly aways and since I never wear make-up, any attempt at wearing it is exactly that; a desperate attempt.

I hear and see my neighbour and wish so much that I could be like her. She's so together and
organised. I hear her family washing up their dinner dishes at 7pm, before I've even started cooking our dinner! She never has to raise her voice at her daughter and I never hear her daughter throw a tantrum. I hear lots of laughter coming from the family as they play fight and whilst I am happy their
life is seemingly perfect, a part of dies a little inside because I want that life. My postnatal depression is making it hard for me to even be around my family right now. Vala especially. She's been so demanding and self-entitled lately. She expects everything, when she wants it and if I don't deliver, I get the full wrath of her attitude. I keep snapping at her and raising my voice. I've stopped being the fun, loving mum and become the strict, grumpy mum instead. Even with Flynn, I struggle to cope. I wait anxiously for Jordan to come home from work, so I can hand Flynn over and recoil into my own bubble of self-loathing.

I can't cope with my family, I can't cope with the housework; I can't even cope with myself. Every time I hear my downstairs neighbour, I feel my friend envy crawling up my back and weighing down upon my shoulders and I just wish so much I could get my shit together like she does. I know her life probably isn't perfect but from the outside, it is! It's exactly what I want. I want to keep a clean house and still look amazing after cleaning it. I want to have dinner at a normal time with my family every night. I want to be the fun, loving mother again who can laugh and play with my family rather than snapping at them and hiding away.

My postnatal depression has really messed with me. It's changed my perception of myself and my life and I hate what I see. I don't know how much longer envy is going to stick around with me but all I do know, is that I want it gone! I don't want to be this person anymore.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

What Valentines Day Means To Me.

It's Valentines Day! A day of love that every company wants to exploit for financial profit. For most, it's a happy day filled with love, laughter, romance and surprises. For me, it's a day of mourning and remembrance.

When I was little, my best friend was my nanny. My mother's mum. I loved her so much and always wanted to visit her and spend time with her. My siblings and I all had individual nicknames given to us from my nanny. My older sister was called Spike because she always woke with wild hair sticking up like soft spikes. My older brother was called Clyde because when he learnt to walk, he walked like Clyde the orangutan from the film "Every Which Way But Loose". My little sister was called ET because she was Elizabeth Trouble; a nickname she hated! Then there was me. Nanny's clear favourite because she gave me TWO nicknames. The first was Spikelette because I too woke up with wild, spiky hair. The second was Pink Rabbit. I don't know why she called me that but she always told me that I was HER Pink Rabbit. I loved being her Pink Rabbit and I loved her.

Then she became ill. I was too young at the time to understand it but she was fighting cancer. She fought for years and suffered greatly. She was so worried she'd scare us kids with her bald head from the chemo that she bought a wig. One day we showed up earlier than expected and she hadn't had time to get her wig on and none of us even noticed. We just saw her. She had multiple operations and as a result she no longer had a belly button. A novelty I found highly amusing and told all my friends about. I didn't understand why her belly button was gone. We visited her in hospital a lot but even then I was too naive to understand why she was there. I didn't know she was dying.

Valentines Day 1999 came and I woke so
excited to visit nanny in hospital. I'd made her the most amazing Valentines Day card ever! I'd cut a heart out of paper and hand coloured the entire thing red with felt tip pen. I stuck glitter, sequins and feathers to it and in black felt tip pen, wrote her a little message telling her how much I loved her. I woke before any of my siblings and ran into the dining room to find my mum sitting in my dad's chair at the dining table, sobbing uncontrollably. I stood by her side and asked her what was wrong and she looked down at me and said the two words that to this day, still haunt me; "Nanny's dead." I immediately started crying and my mum scooped me up into her arms, cradled me like a baby and rocked me back and forth. My dad stood silently at the kitchen table, trying to be strong for my mum.

I don't know how long mum and I cuddled for crying but she'd calmed down by the time my siblings all got up. They never saw her in the pain that I did. The years following Valentines Day would come and go and I was too young to remember and understand the significance of the day. But as I entered my teenage years, Valentines Day came around and I learned how my nanny had died. She'd been laying in her hospital bed on her left side, which always caused her pain. The nurses came in and asked if she wanted to be rolled onto her right side which she usually preferred. She said yes and as the nurses rolled her over, she stopped breathing. They called my mum and the phone ringing is what woke me up. My mum had kept the card I never got to give nanny and upon seeing it again, the memory of that day came flooding back and so did the pain.

Ever since, I've never been able to celebrate Valentines Day the way everyone else does. The day comes around and I can see my mum sobbing at the table and I hear those two words over and over. The memory is so clear it's like it happened yesterday. This year will mark 19 years since her passing. I was 8 when she died. But whilst this is a sad day for me, it's a happy day for many others and I want to wish you all a Happy Valentines Day. I truly hope you all have lovely days filled with love and happy memories. Hold your loved ones tight and don't forget to tell them you love them!

Until next time,
Alli xo.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Battling the Postnatal Depression Demon

I really wanted today's post to be something happy and positive to help combat the Monday Blues but sadly that's not the case. My head is in a not so great place and it's effecting every aspect of my life.

I already know that I've been suffering with
postnatal depression but I thought I was dealing with it well; to the point I started thinking I'd recovered. But as of last week, it feels like I've relapsed. Something inside of me is lost. That determination and motivation is gone. My positive outlook is gone. My self esteem, self worth, self confidence is all gone. I feel like I've lost a couple screws in my brain too.

Everyday is a constant battle against the "why bother" demon screaming inside my head. Last week Flynn wouldn't sleep during Vala's nursery hours and as a result, no housework got done. This bought my mood down and everything was why bother? Why bother trying to clean? Why bother going for my daily walk? Why bother eating properly? Why bother doing anything to help myself?


I've lost interest in everything as well. Exercising, blogging, even playing video games which is usually my go to hobby when my mood is crap. I'm struggling with a lot of things right now and I know I need to pull myself out of it. Right now I'm completely guilt ridden because my head is in such a bad place that I've not taken Vala to nursery today. I got about an hours broken sleep last night and now I feel like I've been hit by a bus. I even forgot I had the health visitor coming today. She took one look at the zombified, half awake me and rescheduled at the door. I guess what I'm feeling on the inside is showing on the outside.

I just want to shut my brain off for a while. Recalibrate. Refresh. Restart. I need to get back to the place I was 2 weeks ago. Full of energy, motivation, excitement, anticipation etc. I need my passion and my motivation back. I need to stop second guessing everything I do and say. Even this blog post is tearing my brain apart. One part of me wants to delete it all and miss my first scheduled post day this year. The other part is reminding me that I said I'd talk about the good and the bad. I feel the post is garbage but I'm going to end it here and post it anyway. I'll feel worse if I don't post anything today.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Friday, 9 February 2018

10 ways to be more organised.

With life getting more and more hectic these days, you might be finding yourself wanting to get a bit more organised. Here are a few tips that may help you...

Declutter

Before you can properly start to organise your life, you need to sort through all the things you don't need, wear or use and throw them away.

Make checklists and schedules

A fantastic way to be more organised is with schedules and checklists. Write up weekly schedules for everyone in your home and keep them in one location, like a home command centre. Keeping to your own schedule also helps create a habit which eventually evolves into a routine and you'll soon find your breezing through each day. 

Checklists are handy for all sorts of things; housework to be done on certain days, what goes in your gym bag, information for babysitters and so on. Make sure to update your checklists regularly and keep them in a safe, easy to find location. Your home command centre is perfect for this.

Write a to-do list each night

We all do it, mentally compile a list of things we need to do the next day; make lunch, put bins out, wash the dog etc, but come the following morning, we've forgotten at least half the items on our lists. Write them down! Keep a pen and pad beside your bed and write everything down before your go bed each night. This way you won't forget all those little odd tasks that need doing.


Make a home command centre

A home command centre is an excellent way to keep yourself and your family organised. Simply pick a wall in your home and decorate it in a way that displays all important information. A home command centre could include things like a calendar, weekly schedules, meal plans, shopping lists, chore lists, reward charts, important contact information and so on. That's the brilliance of a home command centre, it can be tailor made by you, to suit your needs. Have them as big or as little as you want, whatever works for you. Here are a few home command centre ideas to give you some inspiration. 


Set up direct debits

Pay your bills utilities, phone bill, council tax, credit cards etc by direct debit. By setting up a direct debit, you don’t have to worry about when your bills are due as the correct payment will come out automatically on a set date. This also means won't miss any payment dates. Paying on time helps avoid being hitting by those pesky interest charges. Also many utility/phone companies offer a small discount when you pay by direct debit, so you're actually saving money by using this payment method. Win, win!

Plan your meals

Stop standing in front of your empty fridge, wondering what to have for dinner each night. Instead sit down every Sunday night and plan out your meals for the following week. Keep your weekly meal plan next to your shopping list. Buy what you need to cook each meal and you'll never struggle at meal times again.

Shop Online

Following off the last point, doing your grocery shopping online will not only save you time, but it'll also save you money. We all do it, shop when we're hungry and buy more than we need to. Or get drawn in by all the sale items at the end of the aisles and spend more money than we budgeted for. You can avoid all this by shopping online. Once you've written out your meal plan for the week, take it and your shopping list and log onto your preferred supermarkets website. You can book a slot to have your groceries delivered to your home or some places also offer click and collect so you can pick them up on your way home from work.

Eat breakfast

Age old saying; "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Low blood sugar causes you to have problems concentrating, thinking straight and remembering things. Skipping breakfast leaves you feeling more drained and lacking energy throughout the day. Eating a healthy breakfast consisting of protein like eggs or slow-release carbs like porridge, will help you feel more energised throughout the morning but also help you mentally get through all your daily tasks.

Get enough sleep

Getting at least seven hours sleep each night followed by a healthy breakfast is the best way to help you get through each day. The amount of sleep you get, impacts your mood significantly and the less you get, the less likely you'll want to complete daily tasks eg; cooking dinner, doing laundry, cleaning the house etc. Getting at least seven hours a night will not only leave you feeling more energetic during the day but it will also help you feel happier.

Organise your year

The best way to achieve this is with a neat little filing system. Get 12 manilla folders and write a different month on each one. Attach a monthly calendar to the inside and write down all important dates such as birthday, anniversaries, holidays, school trips etc. Then keep anything relevant in the folder eg. cards, brochures, tickets, permission slips. You can plan out and prepare for most your year and never have to worry about forgetting an important date again!

If you have any other ideas or tips on how to get more organised, please share them in the comments section below.

Until next time,
Alli xo
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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Films You Should Watch On Date Night

So movie night has come around again and you've got your snacks, popcorn and beverages ready but
no movie to watch! Ever had that happen to you? Well fret no more! I have compiled a short list of films that I personally feel, everyone has to see at some point. With genres varying from Action to Comedy and Drama to Family, there should be something here for everyone. I will however note that I have not included any horror films in this list. I am a big wuss when it comes to horror and don't watch them. As a result, I can't tell you which horror films you really need to see. Hopefully you find something you like in this list and your next movie night won't contain any arguments over what to watch. Please note that some of the films listed below fit into multiple genres and I have just put them in the genres I thought most appropriate.

Action/Adventure

Die Hard
Pacific Rim
300
National Treasure 1&2
Fifth Element
Kingsman
Inception
The Matrix

Comedy

Deadpool
Hot Fuzz
Guardians of the Galaxy 1&2
Pitch Perfect Trilogy
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Waynes World
Zombeavers

The Blues Brothers
Groundhog Day

Mean Girls
The Benchwarmers
Basketball

Drama

Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Illusionist
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind
Donnie Darko
Book of Eli
V for Vandetta
The Terminal
The Social Network
Dunkirk

Classics

The Princess Bride
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
To Kill A Mockingbird
Jaws
The Shining
Psycho
Labyrinth

Family

Up
The Lego Movie
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Moana
Finding Nemo
Inside Out
Zootopia
Frozen
Tangled
Toy Story Trilogy
Monsters Inc 1&2

Crime/Thriller

Now You See Me 1&2
Snatch
Sin Ciy
Secret Window
Pulp Fiction
Kill Bill Vol. 1&2


Remember, this is just a list of films that I personally think everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime. There are a lot of films that are amazing that haven't been added. Maybe because I've not thought of them or maybe because whilst they're great films, I didn't feel they were must see films. 

Do you have any films that aren't on this list that you think are a "must see"? If so, please post them in comments below. Maybe it's a film I haven't seen yet and can watch next movie night. I'd love to hear your opinions.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Monday, 5 February 2018

My 5 Year Plans

It's quite normal for everyone to set themselves goals to work towards in the future. You always want to be moving forward, not standing still or moving backwards. It's also a common thing to be asked; "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Recently I asked myself this question and admittedly there's quite a few things I want to have done or have accomplished by the year 2023. At the same time, I also looked back at where I was 5 years ago to see just how far I'd come. This time in 2013, I was newly married, recovering from a failed pregnancy whilst still trying to conceive our first child. Living in a mangy 1 bedroom first floor flat. No job or hobbies and completely deluded in thinking that creating a Minecraft YouTube series with my husband would make us mega rich. Needless to say I have come a long way in the last 5 years and I definitely feel I am in a better and happier place than I was back then. But still I ask what are my 5 year goals and this is what I came up with.

Marriage.

Whilst Jordan and I are only engaged, it feels like we're already married. Having said that though, I would still like to make it official within the next five years. I was thinking a Spring 2020 wedding but for now we've set a date for Summer 2021.


Buying a Home.

In all honestly, this probably the most daunting of goals. I don't know why but it feels like more of a commitment than getting married. But as I am the only child in my family that hasn't bought, or built. their first home yet, I think it's time Jordan and I left the rental scene and looked towards buying a family home for our children to grow up in.

Baby Number 3.

Speaking of children, I definitely want to have baby number 3 (possibly our last) within the next five years. I have always had my heart set on having four children however Jordan has only ever wanted two. We compromised on three but a little part of me holds onto hope to be be a family of six one day. I was thinking of trying for baby number three after we got married but wouldn't want to leave it too long. I think three years is the perfect age gap between siblings but waiting til after the wedding would leave a four year age gap like between Vala and Flynn. Regardless of the age gap, hopefully by 2023, we'll be a family of five instead of four.

Published Novel.

For a year now I have been "working" on my first novel. So far I've managed to get the first three chapters written. Well, the third chapter is still a work in progress. Hopefully within the next five years I'll actually mange to finish my novel, edit it and get it published. Whether that's self-published or published through a proper publishing company, I don't mind. It's a goal I want to accomplish and with the right support and motivation, I plan to.


Studying.

Every year I look at going back to university and getting a degree. I dropped out half way through my course back in Australia so I could move to the UK and I have always regretted not finishing. Of course back then I was studying and english studies and that's not what I am interested in studying any more. I'm looking for creative writing courses now, preferably through Open University so I can work it around being a full-time mum. Hopefully in the next couple of years I will return to studying and actually graduate this time.



I don't think I am being overly ambitious with my goals for the future. I know they're all going to take a lot of time, commitment and dedication to accomplish but I am up for the task. Getting married, having a baby and buying a house is going to make the next five years quite expensive so I need to get A LOT better at saving and tightening those purse strings. I really need to stop impulse shopping but hey, that's just one more challenge for me to nail. Ah well, here's to the next five years!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Friday, 2 February 2018

Monthly Fitness Update: February.

It's February already! Hard to believe that we're already well into the year. Feels like just yesterday I evaluating my weight, health, fitness and deciding what goals to set myself for this year. I really cannot believe we are here; my first monthly fitness update!

Current Weight: 104.0kg
Loss since last month: 1.3kg
Loss since start weight: 5.6kg


Wednesday saw me hit 6 weeks since my c-section which meant I was allowed to start exercising properly again. Something I'd been eagerly looking forward to. Unfortunately I decided to have mastitis and the was suffering from a mild fever. Thankfully the worst of the symptoms (high fever, chills, pains) played havoc with my body the night before so come Wednesday evening, I felt mostly human enough to get up and go for a night walk. It was nothing big, just a walk to the shops and back but it was one extra walk than what is required of me daily so to me it felt like an accomplishment; especially since I wasn't feeling 100%. I took this photo before I set off for my walk and no, I'm not wearing make-up. It's just very fortunate lighting combined with an Instagram filter haha.

Yesterday I tackled my first walk to the leisure center since before I conceived Flynn. I dropped Vala off at school and then walked the 20 minute walk (one way) to the leisure center, pushing Flynn in the pram and music softly playing in my ears. At first the walk was easy but then suddenly, out of nowhere, I began struggling. I'd gone from enjoying the walk and feeling energetic and happy, to suddenly wanting to be at home and heavy. My legs felt like lead jelly (heavy but wobbly) and I honestly considered giving up and turning back. I am proud to say that I didn't let myself give up. I pushed myself and made it to the leisure center. Once there I took a water break, stretched my legs a little and grabbed some brochures on exercise classes and swimming lessons for Vala. I've found quite a few classes I'm interested in and just need to figure out how to attend them whilst working around Jordan and the kids schedules.

I've started weaning myself back off sugar and increasing my protein intake. I'm going to miss all the chocolate and soft drink but I was only allowing myself to have so much junk during those 6 weeks of rest and recovery. Now it's time to be strict with myself and push myself to get this weight down. I'm so close to my second weight goal of 99.9kg and I know if I focus and work hard, I will achieve it! Now I just need to create a kicking work out playlist for my daily walks and eventual return to the gym. Do you have any songs that really get you pumped up and motivated to exercise? If so post it in the comments section below. Your song suggestion could really help me whip my body into shape.

Until next time,
Alli xo